Dec 28 2013

News - ASUS Q87T Thin-ITX Has Custom Solutions Header (aka HTPC_HEADER)


I've been in a bit of a motherboard funk ever since Intel announced that they were leaving the business. While other OEMs make solid kit, none have embraced the the HTPC niche in the same way that Intel has. It looks like that may be changing though, because it looks like ASUS may have picked up the mantle with their new Q87T Haswell Thin-ITX which includes a Custom Solutions Header (HTPC_HEADER) that will work with Pulse-Eight's internal CEC adapter. Internal CIR is sadly missing, but at least that's easy to fix. Well done ASUS.

Jul 12 2012

News - ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player

Media Players are a huge part of the home theater PC world these days, and there is no shortage to choose from. While we try to remain up to date with our Media Player Comparison Guide, it's tough to keep up to date. Here's the latest from ASUS who continue with their O!Play line of players.


If you're like me, over the years you've collected a huge digital library full of music, pictures, and movies onto your computer. Occasionally, I might watch a video from off my laptop or listen to a song while working at the desktop, but high-definition movies and music are really best enjoyed on a home theater system with larger screen and powerful speakers. The ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player makes this transition easy, accepting every modern media format over local storage and network connections. Watching broadcast television and DVD/BD movies have been replaced with streaming Internet content and downloaded multimedia files, especially for college aged viewers who own a smartphone or tablet device. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player, and we evaluate how well it performs our tasks.

Benchmark Reviews

Jul 03 2012

News - Shuttle and Asus Offering Cedar Trail-Based Nettops

Intel AtomWhen Intel first announced their Atom line of low power processors way back in 2008, I had visions of tiny, quiet HTPCs sipping power in my home theater stack. Unfortunately, the promise never lived up to expectations and it has been awhile since I seriously considered an Atom processor for my own HTPC, but that hasn't stopped me from hoping that Intel would finally strike the right performance/power balance. The Cedar Trail Atoms that Intel released late last year might just fit the bill, and recent offerings from Shuttle and ASUS are certainly intriguing.

ASUS is pushing the EeeBox EB1030, and from the sounds of things, this little nettop should fulfill the power-sipping part of my dreams with a 1.86 GHz D2550. There is also a slightly more powerful EB1031 sporting the 2.13 GHz D2700, but the EB1033 might be the most interesting option for HTPC aficionados with the addition of an NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M GPU.

We've seen a fair share of space-saving nettops pass through our very own crowded halls, so what's one more to add to the list? Especially when it's one being flaunted as the most eco-friendly, energy-efficient PC. That's exactly what ASUS thinks of its EeeBox EB1030, which aside from sporting a relatively minimalist design (as is usually the case with nettops), it's also boasting Intel's latest batch of Cedar Trail CPUs.


Shuttle is also utilizing Cedar Trail to build on its small form factor roots with the XS35V3 and XS35GTA V3 barebones nettops. Both systems opt for the higher-end D2700, but the GTA version adds on a Radeon HD 7410M GPU. While the ASUS systems offer a variety of configurations for storage options, by going the barebones route, Shuttle is offering the ultimate in customizability, not to mention the option of an optical disc drive for those who still like their media on disc.

 The XS35V3 and XS35GTA V3 have moved on to more contemporary Cedar Trail-era, 2.13GHz Atom D2700 processors that keep the power draw to a fanless 27W, even when everything is churning at full bore. That limit might get tested with the GTA variant, which brings in Radeon HD 7410M graphics for a lift to 3D performance, but neither mini desktop will exactly make the power company beg for mercy.


Jan 31 2012

News - ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 Kit Reviewed

I thought that this was an interesting concept if you want to have another 3D screen around that isn't your TV.  The author seemed to like the product.  However, for the price ($700) I would take a look at a smaller 3D capable TV.  








We live in a three-dimensional world, and display technology is finally catching up to how we see things. Games, movies, multimedia video, and even photos are now widely available in stereoscopic 3D. Packaged with a NVIDIA 3D Vision-2 glasses kit, the ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor gives you that big screen experience with vivid color, 120Hz high-definition 1080p picture quality, and added 3D special effects. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS VG278H 27" LED-backlight widescreen 120Hz monitor with NVIDIA 3D LightBoost technology and show off its built-in stereoscopic 3D Vision-2 functionality.

Jan 14 2012

News - Asus O!Play Mini Media Player Reviewed

Asus has been quietly selling the O!Play line of media streamers for a few years now. It's been awhile since we had an O!Play in around here for review, and I would imagine they have advanced a bit. Certainly they have gotten smaller as evidenced by the O!Play Mini in this review. The O!Play Mini is not a network streamer, relying instead on its USB port and 4-in-1 card reader for content, so it definitely is not the media streamer for everyone, but it might be worth a look as an inexpensive streamer to take on the road or for placement in an environment that may not necessarily require access to Internet streaming such a child's room or home gym.

Asus O!Play Mini

As the name suggests, this media player is small and lightweight, making it easy to tuck away anywhere. Unlike it's big brother though. the Mini doesn't offer internal HDD support or USB 3.0. Don't let that deter you though, because it looks very promising.

Tweak News

Nov 10 2011

News - Asus O!Play Mini Plus Reviewed

Asus OIPlay Mini Plus

Asus has been making their O!Play line of media streamers for a couple of years. We even reviewed one of the earlier models, the O!Play HDP-R1. The folks over at VR-Zone got the opportunity to put the O!Play Mini Plus through its paces. Asus has certainly joined Apple and Roku in working to slim down their media streamers, if not their remote control. I would have liked to have seen more of the UI in defferent scenarios to see how it has progressed.

So, why would you even need to consider the Mini Plus when you could just as easily accomplish the same by connecting a notebook or desktop computer to the LCD TV. Well, the same reason why Smart TV’s are the ‘In’ thing. The Smart TV’s built-in applications are instant-on with literally no shutdown time. Flick the switch and you are good to go.


Oct 26 2011

News - ASUS E35M1-M Pro Reviewed

I've mentioned before that, for whatever reason, the recent launch of the AMD E-350 Zacate chips did not excite me as much as the E-300 launch did. Perhaps it was the release of the 35W Core i3 processors or the Celeron G500 processors that put a damper on the diminutive Fusion chips. That being said, ASUS has put together a very attractive option here. With a street price around $120 and a plethora of SATA 6Gps ports and expansion slots, I could see this fitting quite nicely into an HTPC server machine, not to mention the silent PC build possibilities.

ASUS E35M1-M Pro

Whilst CPU or GPU intensive tasks are out of the question with a Fusion based system, Fusion boards do have their own advantages such as ultra low power consumption devices, which allow the APU to be passively cooled for a truly silent PC. The optional supplied micro-fan does not add much noise into the equation for low usage, but each end user may or may not want the noise in the background.


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